Who Is A Candidate?
Dental implants are a popular modern treatment used to replace missing teeth. This treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. The posts are then used to provide secure support for your replacement teeth. Dental implants are a very successful treatment that can be used to meet a variety of different needs. Even so, an initial consultation is necessary to determine if they are truly the best solution for you. Platte Valley Dental Care can help.
Are You Missing a Tooth?Dental implants are a treatment used for replacing missing teeth. The titanium posts placed in your jaw act as artificial roots, which then provide stability and support for the ceramic crowns that act as your replacement teeth. Dental implants are incredibly versatile. They can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, and even an entire arch, providing an alternative to traditional bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures.
How Healthy are You?Dental implants require a surgical procedure, during which the titanium posts are placed into your jawbone. This requires incisions in your gums and holes drilled into your jawbone. To be considered a candidate for surgery, you first need to be in good overall health. We perform a thorough oral exam, during which we check for signs of cavities and gum disease. If these issues are present, they will need to be treated before implant surgery can begin to reduce your risk for infections and other complications.
We also go over your medical history. If you have certain health conditions, including diabetes or heart disease, they will need to be well managed before implants can be recommended.
Do You Drink or Smoke?In addition to going over your medical history, your lifestyle habits are discussed. Habits like excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can cause significant complications, both during surgery as well as during recovery. Alcohol can affect clotting, which can cause bleeding issues. Tobacco use can affect oxygen levels in your blood as well as slow blood flow. This slows the delivery of nutrients to surgical sites, slowing healing.
The chemicals in tobacco products can also affect your immune system, preventing your body from effectively fighting against infections. You will be recommended to quit these habits. If you cannot quit for good, you will need to abstain at least until after you have fully healed.
The Condition of Your Jawbone MattersAfter tooth loss, your jawbone begins to weaken and lose mass. The longer you wait to replace your teeth, the more bone mass is lost. The success of your dental implants depends upon the condition of your jawbone. As you heal from surgery, your bone gradually fuses to the titanium posts. This is a completely natural process called osseointegration.
As the bone fuses, it turns the posts into strong, stable replacement roots that are then able to hold your new teeth securely in place. If your jawbone is too weak, the bone cannot fuse properly, or at all. This can result in loose implants and unstable teeth. If your jawbone is considered to be too weak during your initial consultation, you may be recommended for a bone graft surgery first, which restores strength to your jawbone and increases the success of dental implants.
Is Age a Factor?While it is possible to be too young for dental implants, you are never too old. Once your jawbone has finished growing and developing, which occurs around your late teens to early 20s, you can be considered a candidate for implants. Many older patients often think that they are too old. This simply is not true. As long as you meet other requirements for candidacy, you can get dental implants no matter if you are in your 30s, your 50s, your 70s, or even older.
Dental implants are an incredible, long-term solution for tooth loss. Call Platte Valley Dental Care today at (816) 858-2027 to schedule your consultation and find out if dental implants are right for you.